a hand holding a cellphone


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In the Covid-19 era, studies and classes have moved online, however, not everyone in India is privileged enough to have a steady internet connection or has access to smartphones and laptops. As a result, many students are unable to attend classes due to the availability of these resources and losing out on their education. In one such case that turned tragic, a 15-year-old girl allegedly committed suicide, as she did not have a smartphone to attend online classes. The incident took place in Ond village, 10 km from Karad town in Maharashtra’s Satara district on September 23.

“The victim, Sakshi Abasaheb Pol was a student of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) with the Pandit G.B. Pant High School nearby and was required to attend online classes since the past few months in view of the corona pandemic,” investigating officer Balkrishna Jagdale told IANS.

The deceased minor’s mother, who works as a farm labourer in the village, could not afford a smartphone for her daughter as the family’s income was barely sufficient to survive. Notably, Sakshi had been demanding a smartphone since the past few months, but her mother kept cajoling her to “wait till we have enough money”.

On September 23, she again made the same demand but her mother expressed sheer helplessness in the matter. Shortly after she left, Sakshi hanged herself in her home and was found dead later by the family and neighbours.

Sakshi joins the long list of young students hailing from very poor families who cannot manage to buy smartphones to comply with the requirements of online education.

In a similar incident a few weeks back, a 20-year-old college student hung herself in her house in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district. Her father Aviram Bauli told police that he works as a daily wager and somehow manages to make both ends meet and also pay the tuition fees of her daughter.

(With IANS inputs)

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